A Major Pharmaceutical Packaging Company Initially Turns to Crescent for Smoother Logistics—But Comes Away with A Whole Lot More
A large pharmaceutical packaging company based in North America wanted to switch vendors for their new injection-molded tub used for sterilizing, filling, and shipping ready-to-use (RTU) containers.
This tub is the linchpin of the firm’s RTU platform, since all types of containers—including vials, cartridges, and syringes—are secured in nested packaging, which in turn is contained with this standardized tub as they process through flexible filling lines and syringe filling lines. The tub’s sterility and standardization of dimensions are key to its compatibility with filling equipment from multiple equipment vendors.Initial Win: Transportation Savings
Hoping to simplify and smooth the supply chain of this large medical product, this company turned to Crescent due to its proximity to the company’s own manufacturing facility. Since Crescent provides free truck deliveries for its customers anywhere within a 100-mile radius (an area which includes DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia), this packaging vendor has eliminated the need for a third-party shipping carrier.
Crescent, however proved to be much more than a conveniently located injection molding vendor.Investments in Capital Equipment
Since molding this tub required larger presses than Crescent had in their clean room, it acquired a new, higher tonnage injection molding press. That was not the end of Crescent’s capital investments either. A Universal collaborative robot (“cobot”) was also purchased specifically for removing the molded tubs from the mold and placing them on a conveyor for packaging.
Utilizing a cobot for transferring the tubs reduces human handling and thus decreases both bio-burden and the risk of contamination. Due to the fact that these tubs will house containers filled with medicine, which will then be used directly by patients, cleanliness is paramount
After removing the molded tubs from the press, the Universal cobot stacks the tub on a conveyor. When enough tubs have been stacked, the conveyor indexes to the next position, ready for another stack. The stacks of tubs are then packaged before being delivered to the customer.Resin Material Improvement
Crescent proactively reduced contamination risk on another front: the attraction of particulates into the tub via static electricity. Crescent took the customer’s material requirements (including the color) to Crescent’s resin distributor, who in turn recommended adding an anti-static additive.
Crescent then worked directly with the resin supplier and utilized their compounding expertise by having them add into the base resin both the anti-static additive and the colorant needed for the tub’s required color. Not only did this give Crescent a turn-key solution for the customer and reduce the order processing by consolidating vendors, but this move also decreased the amount of handling the resin would undergo, reducing the likelihood that finished tubs would exhibit contamination from foreign substances. All tubs produced from this new material were validated and approved by the customer before production began.Tooling Improvement
By leveraging its in-house mold design and revision expertise, Crescent also made improvements to the tooling to reduce flash at the parting line on the molded tubs, resulting in the current single-cavity, Class 101, hot-runner mold.Crescent Provides a Complete Solution Through Value-Added Operations
By purchasing new capital equipment, successfully implementing a material change, improving the existing mold, and combining cleanroom injection molding facilities and expertise with in-house automation and design teams, Crescent delivered multiple wins for the customer. This high-throughput cleanroom manufacturing line guarantees that the customer will meet the expected ramp up in demand for this tub over the next few years, while the improvement Crescent made to the tub itself will pave the way for this product to transform and streamline RTU pharmaceutical filling lines.